Tuesday, June 16, 2015

June 8th and June 15th, 2015 updates

June 8th update: [Elder Reed's younger brother (who is 16) was able to serve on a "mini-mission" for one week, where they are set apart to serve with the full-time missionaries in an area and to experience real-life in the mission field. When I sent Elder Reed a picture of his brother and the two missionaries he would be serving with outside a local LDS church building here in Ohio, he sent this photo and said something like "I haven't seen a chapel like that for a long time! all the chapels here look like prisons! they all have bars in their windows and heavy-duty security doors!" - wow!]

"Me in San Borja in the same capilla as Los Sauces... again!!!"
From Elder Reed's family letter this week (June 8th): 

"I got transferred this week! I was sent to San Borja in the Santa Patricia Stake here in Peru Lima East. Here there is nothing to compare price-wise to Tilda in Vitarte [the place where he was before]. Everything here is 50% more expensive! Here there is no dust, there are very few, if any, semi trucks, and just about everyone here has a college level education. With that title comes a tougher time for the missionaries getting in the door, but the converts and members are strong!

This last week was interesting as my new companion, Elder Cueva (from Piura, Peru) and I are relatively new to San Borja and we spent a lot of time getting lost and asking people for directions. Side-note: That quote Dory [from "Finding Nemo"] makes about "What is it with men and asking for directions?" doesn't apply to us. We ask everyone we can find." [I LOVE it!] :)

Elder Reed also shared that, while at their Zone meeting, they were talking about how there will be 3 birthdays in their zone before the next transfers in mid-July - Happy Birthday!!! :)

Elder Reed's spiritual thought from this week's letter: "There really are people waiting for you. We had several lessons which, as my companion tells me, were radically different in that the people, for some reason or another, really opened up to me. Like those cheesy TV commercials say, 'If it worked for me, there 'has got to be some way that our Heavenly Father wants it to happen to you.' Ok, I changed a couple of words and practically the entire phrase, but I hope you understand my meaning: That God will let it happen to you, just be patient!"

From the June 15th update:

A new look - with a size 0 cut - I'm glad he didn't keep it this way! ha ha

"COOOOOL CAR I SAW!!! ... the first i've seen here in almost 9 months"
"Me, Elder Cueva, a member and Elder Farfan from the PerĂº Chiclayo Mission (he helped us for a couple hours Sunday!)"
From his family letter: "We here in San Borja don't have a ton of investigators, new or otherwise, with whom we may share the Gospel, but we have been stretching ourselves to get the Word in their lives. Almost everyone says, "I'm too busy right now to listen to you right now; why don't you come back another day?" We have even contacted people who have rudely said "No" and various other things to us, but that is not the point of why I share it! I share it because I have a strong testimony as a "sembrador" or "sower of the seed". They might not listen to you in that moment, but I promise you that if they reject you, give you nasty looks, and slam the door in your face not wanting to hear more of the Gospel, that you will be blessed. Why? Because you have done your part. You have raised your voice. You have warned or tried to warn that person of what awaits them if they don't repent. This seed that you have tried to plan might takes years to find soil fertile enough for it to grow or you might just have thrown the seed to the sizzling blacktop of the street in midsummer. (Alma 32 - scripture reference)

Spiritual thought: Nothing that we do is discarded... No good action goes unblessed with our Father in Heaven. Don't be afraid to share what you know. Missionary work doesn't only happen here in Peru or only when there are missionaries with name tags speaking, but every day, every hour, and every second that we set an example as believers We have what we need. The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Now it's your turn to share what is for all! It might seem scary at first, but I bear my testimony to you as a personal representative of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that words will come if we but open our mouths. 

Remember the Lord always, 
Elder Reed"